JPEG from a Raw Capture


Today’s Question: What is the best way to convert a raw capture to a JPEG file in Lightroom Classic?

Tim’s Quick Answer: To create a JPEG image based on a raw capture in Lightroom Classic you would want to use the export feature. As part of that process, you could choose whether you want the new JPEG copy of the image to also be included in your catalog along with the original raw capture.

More Detail: In Lightroom Classic when you process a raw capture in the Develop module, you don’t actually create a derivative image file the way you typically would with Photoshop, for example. Instead, in Lightroom Classic you don’t create a new derivative image file based on a raw capture until you export to create that new file.

So, if you wanted to create a JPEG image based on a raw capture, after applying any adjustments you’d like in the Develop module, you can select the image (or multiple images) and then click the Export button at the bottom of the left panel in the Library module.

In the Export dialog you can then configure the settings for the export. First, specify the location where you want to save the copy of the image you’re creating. That could be on the desktop of your computer if you’ll be using that image for some temporary purpose, or you could select the same file as the original raw capture. You also have the option to add the exported image back to your Lightroom Classic catalog by turning on the “Add to This Catalog” checkbox. I generally prefer not to use this option, as it can create confusion in terms of which is the actual original image.

You can configure a naming structure for the new image in the File Naming section if preferred, or leave the “Rename To” checkbox turned off if you want to retain the same filename as the original image. In the File Settings section select the desired file format, which in this case would be JPEG. You can then configure the specific settings based on the file type, such as the Quality setting and color space for a JPEG copy.

You can then adjust settings for resizing the image in the Image Sizing section, apply output sharpening if you’d like, specify which metadata should be included in the exported image, apply a watermark, and choose among the options in the Post-Processing section.

Once you’ve established the export settings, you can click the Export button at the bottom-right of the Export dialog, and the new file will be created.